Using Fireworks with Illustrator

Vector graphics can be easily shared between Fireworks and Adobe Illustrator®. The appearance of objects may differ between applications, however, because Fireworks does not share all the same features with all vector graphics applications.

Fireworks provides support for importing native Illustrator (AI) CS2 and later files, with options for retaining many aspects of the imported files, including layers, and patterns. Linked images, however, are not imported.

You can bring Illustrator images into Fireworks for further editing and web optimization. You can also export Illustrator files from Fireworks.

When you import Illustrator files, Fireworks preserves the following features:

Bezier Points

The number and position of Bezier points will be preserved.


Colors are preserved as closely as possible when importing AI content to Fireworks. Fireworks supports the RGB schema only. Schemas other than RGB are automatically converted to RGB 8 bit before they are imported into Fireworks.

Text Attributes:

Seamlessly copy text from Illustrator to Fireworks without any change in the look and feel of the text.

When you import text, Illustrator preserves the following:

  • Font

  • Size

  • Color

  • Bold

  • Italic

  • Align (Left, Right, Center, Justify)

  • Orientation (Horizontal, Vertical Left to Right, Vertical Right to Left)

  • Letter Spacing

  • Character Position (Normal, SuperScript, SubScript)

  • Auto kerning

  • Kerning pairs


To quickly import specific text in an Illustrator file, copy it directly into Fireworks. Copied text retains all text attributes.

Gradient Fills

Gradients are imported as native Fireworks gradients. All of the ramp points of the gradient are preserved. Opacity values associated with the gradient fills are also preserved during import.


Illustrator AI files can contain placed files of the following types: PDF, BMP, EPS, GIF, JPEG, JPEG2000, PICT, PCX, PCD, PSD, PXR, PNG, TGA and TIFF. Embedded Images are brought into Fireworks as raster images. However, Fireworks cannot open Illustrator AI files that contain linked images such as EPS and AI.

Clip Masks

Fireworks supports the import of clipping masks with paths and compound paths at a basic level.

Filled Strokes

Filled strokes are imported as a single drawing object.

Solid Fills

Filled paths are imported as a single drawing object.

Compound Paths

Compound paths are imported as a single drawing object.


The group is preserved and the individual grouped objects come in as drawing objects.


Graphs are imported as groups, and they lose their special editability as graphs.


Illustrator primitives are actually paths, so they are not imported as Fireworks primitives.


Patterns are imported as individual tiles. These tiles are imported as a native pattern in Fireworks and the pattern is assigned to the drawing object.

Brush Strokes

Brush strokes are imported as multiple groups (one group per closed path).


Symbols are imported as normal group objects.


Fireworks imports object opacity correctly, preserving object transparency settings at the original Illustrator values.

Sub Layers

Fireworks imports all sublayers as native Fireworks sublayers.

Importing Illustrator files containing multiple artboards

You can open an Illustrator file containing multiple artboards by doing one of the following:

Importing the Illustrator file into Fireworks

Use the File > Import option to import Adobe Illustrator files containing multiple artboards when you want to import artboards individually.

When you import an Adobe Illustrator file containing multiple artboards, the Page menu is enabled in the Vector File Options dialog box. Select the artboard that you want to import in the Page menu. Each artboard in Illustrator is mapped to a page in Fireworks. For example, artboards 1, 2, and 3 in the Adobe Illustrator File appear as 1, 2, and 3 in the Page menu.

Opening the Illustrator file in Fireworks

To open all the artboards in an Illustrator file, select File > Open, and open the Illustrator file containing the artboards. Because all the artboards are imported as separate pages, the File Conversion options are disabled in the Vector File Options dialog box.


File conversion options are disabled when you import Illustrator files from versions previous to CS3, and for Illustrator files with a single artboard.

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